It's summer. It's the off-season. It's time to enjoy life fully and take a mental break from organized sessions. We need to reset and prepare for our next challenge. Travel more. Catch up with friends. Play video games. Whatever you need to do to remember that you do have a life outside of this sport.
With this comes a price to pay once we do return to training. You'll struggle technically. You'll be lacking match fitness. It will be a tough mental hurdle to get over. This struggle will be a part of your return to play. What I have seen from some players is that they become visibly frustrated and kinda give up during the session. Then take more steps backwards in their off-season prep. You must have an understanding that this is just where you are currently in the cycle. Embrace it. Focus on the outcome after consistent training for a few weeks. You'll be miles better than you were when you finished the season if you continue the grind.
For those who are college and high school players, DO NOT USE PRESEASON AS A WAY TO GET IN SHAPE. You need this offseason work more than anyone. There are a few things to keep in mind though. We just took some time off. Our nutrition most likely is not on par with our goals. We most likely ate pretty poorly over the last few weeks. Hydration is nonexistent. We are loving the level of comfort we currently have with waking up late, binge watching Netflix, hours of entertainment that we normally wouldn't have during the regular season, and not having to sacrificing anything. It has been a nice rest, but now we must get back to work.
Assigning simple tasks for yourself is the best way to get started. Simplicity is key to your survival of preseason. Just because it's simple doesn't mean it's easy. Start yourself with training 3 days a week. It doesn't have to be soccer related. Can be any type of training that gets you into a rhythm again.
Finally, as we embrace these next steps, we must understand that this is going to be a serious struggle at first. Reward yourself with moments of success from the past. Use that as fuel to achieve your short term goals going into your next season. Remember, the work that you do in the dark will be shown in the light. Don't be surprised if you are overlooked by your coach once you return to team training. Let your work ethic and determination do the talking for you come August
"The light ain't on yah, but keep making plays. Nobody's talking about you, but keep making plays" - Deion Sanders